Skip to main content
ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #282002

Title: A diet and physical activity intervention for rural African Americans

item Tussing Humphreys, Lisa
item Thomson, Jessica
item EDMOND, EMANUAL - Delta Health Alliance

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/3/2012
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: PURPOSE Epidemic levels of obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease are rampant in the largely rural Lower Mississippi Delta (LMD) region of Mississippi. We assessed the effectiveness of a six-month, church-based, diet and physical activity (PA) intervention for improving diet quality (as measured by the Healthy Eating Index-2005) and increasing PA of LMD African American (AA) adults. METHODS We used a quasi-experimental design in which eight self-selected eligible churches were randomly assigned to intervention or control. Assessments included dietary, PA, anthropometric, and clinical measures. Statistical tests for group comparisons included chi square, Fisher’s exact, and McNemar’s tests for categorical variables, and mixed model regression analysis for continuous variables and modeling outcome changes. RESULTS Retention was 85% (176/208) for control and 84% (163/195) for intervention churches. Several diet quality components improved significantly in both control and intervention groups, while significant increases in PA were apparent in the intervention group only. No changes in anthropometric or clinical outcomes were significant for either group, although changes were in the direction hypothesized (improvements) for the intervention group. However, clinically-meaningful decreases in blood pressure were observed in participants that attended four or more educational sessions. Results from regression analysis indicated intervention participation level and vehicle ownership were significant predictors of change for several diet quality components. CONCLUSIONS A six-month, church-based, diet and PA intervention may be effective in improving diet quality and increasing PA of LMD AA adults. A key component to the success of such programs is participant engagement in educational sessions and vehicle access. GRANT SUPPORT Research supported by US DHHS HRSA Grant # 6 U1FRH07411and USDA ARS Project 6401-53000-001-00D.